HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse
HTS Overall Score:68
Almost 20 years, the original “Dragonheart” came on the scene and was labeled a financial failure. Much like “Waterworld” it later regained its popularity on home video and actually became profitable. Strangely enough, “Dragonheart” had enough wings to spawn a very lukewarm direct to video sequel which seemed to do well enough to turn the movies into a full blown “franchise”. Now, 19 years after the original “Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerers Curse” sees if it can do any better than the tepid sequel of just a few years ago.
Set in jolly old England, A young man by the name of Gareth (Julian Morris) is struggling to gain entrance to knighthood. Unfortunately Knighthood isn’t exactly what it used to be. Gone is the old code of chivalrous knights and in their place are cold, hard mercenaries that lust only for power and serve under even crueler masters. Swindled out of his knighthood by a merciless master, Gareth is sent out on a hopeless quest to buy his status by any means necessary. Seeing a falling star to the north, Gareth embarks on a quest to find riches only to come to realize that the falling star was a dragon falling to earth. Seeing a stack of golden dragon eggs, the young man comes under attack from an evil sorcerer named Brude (Jonjo O’Neill), wherein he is mortally wounded. Taking pity on him, the dragon gives some of his powerful blood to the boy and revives his spirit. Much like the original film, this means that Dragon and man is united in blood, sharing feelings, pain, and strength, forming a bond that cannot be broken.
Recognizing the good in the young man, this dragon (dubbed Drago by the human), encourages him to undertake a quest to protect the dragon eggs that Drago is protecting. With Brude calling down a powerful curse on the dragon, Drago is too weak to protect them on his own. A shade by day and powerful at night, Drago can only guide and train the young wannabe knight through words and influence, letting Gareth’s inner chivalry shine through. Combined with the companionship of a beautiful barbarian woman (Tamzin Merchant) and a young druid (Jassa Ahluwalia), Drago and Gareth trek back home in an effort to protect the dragon eggs and keep Brude from wreaking vengeance on the only family he has left.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39729[/img]“Dragonheart” wasn’t a fantastic movie, but rather a marvel of 1990’s technology back these 20 years prior. It had some cheesy lines, and was a sword and sorcery movie in an age when those types of movies were fading from popular opinion. Still, it was a fun little movie that gave me hours of entertainment as a young boy, and has held up rather well even after all these years (except for the CGI of course). “Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse” doesn’t exactly follow in the footsteps of its predecessor plot wise, but rather remakes and “exists” in the same universe only. We see many of the same tropes from the first movie, like the sharing of a dragon heart, powerful wizards, knights and their code of honor, as well as a penchant for having older legends playing the voice of the dragon (Draco/Drago). The more movies that a series has, the worse they tend to get, and here is no different. The first movie was a flawed cult classic, the second shared little resemblance to the first and the third appears to follow in the second’s footsteps.
Ben Kinsley is the only real “bright” spot in this entire movie, as even phoning home a role he is leagues better than all the actors around him. The rest of the cast is just your standard DTV cast of actors, with poor acting skills and having to slog through line after line of bad writing. There was quite a few times where I felt that Ben Kinsley (sorry, SIR Ben Kinsley) was wincing as he read his lines as Drago. However, the movie is still better than many other DTV films of the same ilk. I’ve seen much worse (and of course much better) in the DTV fantasy world, and despite the shoddy dialogue and limited budget it’s a mildly entertaining sword and sorcery flick. It won’t rock you to your core, or horrify you, but rather be a decent passing of time on a boring Saturday night.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39737[/img]“Dragonheart 3” is pretty much what you would expect from the genre and budget it falls under. Universal treats their day and date releases quite nicely and despite those aforementioned limitations, the end result is quite pleasing. The movie is displayed in its original 1.78:1 AVC encoded aspect ratio and the digital film making lends itself to quite a bit of detail. The movie is razor sharp for a majority of the time, but when the CGI is pumping all around you notice some softness to the image, most likely a result of trying to blend the cheaper CGI with the real world effects. Black levels are strong, with some mild crush at times, and the colors and skin tones come across as extremely natural and robust. The brighter points of the film are the high points as the digital photography captures those scenes quite well, but the dimmer portions of the movie is where the cheap budget has allows black crush and a smattering of noise to bleed through.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39745[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track comes through with lots of aggression and a solidly immersive experience. The dialog is crisp, clean and locked up front as you would expect, while the surrounds are active with all sorts of sound, from the crashing of rocks, the throbbing of Drago’s wings to the melody of the sound track’s score. There are a few times where the balance gets thrown off and the track becomes a bit messy, but for the most part it’s well balanced. LFE is strong and powerful, with tons of deep moments, but for some reason it doesn’t have that “thick” feeling to it that completely energizes you. That bass is strong, and it shakes the couch quit well, but the density just isn’t always there. As with the balance, the LFE sometimes falls into excess, and the gets a bit too boomy for its own good, but as a whole the track is quite solid and does quite well for itself considering the budget.
• Bringing Drago to Life
I wouldn’t dare say that “Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse” is any way a well of creativity, as the action, acting and set pieces are cut out of the DTV action movie playbook, but the movie somehow is rather entertaining in and of itself. It’s not going to be a day one rental for sure, but it certainly has enough charm (and some excellent CGI for the dragon) to make a decent rental out of the movie. Audio and video are about on par for this type of release, with the limited extras that one would expect from a DTV movie. I would still say that if you want to experience the universe with a better movie, watch the first “Dragonheart” and if you’re still intrigued, give this one a rental.
Starring: Ben Kinsley, Julian Morris, Tamzin Merchant
Directed By: Colin Teague
Written By: Matthew Feitshans
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 24th 2015
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